Dundonald Church was planted in 1990. Since then, by God's grace, they've grown to four congregations meeting on a Sunday and numerous mid-week Growth Groups. Meeting in Raynes Park and Wimbledon, Dundonald Church is seeking to reach the lost of South West London. Here, Kathy Fopp (4pm congregation member and wife of Clayton Fopp - Senior Assistant Pastor at Dundonald) tells us about a recent daytime Growth Group evangelistic initiative.
Caroline* had an unusual problem…
Her friends kept asking her questions about Jesus! And she kept trying to explain the answers but felt like it wasn’t going anywhere. Caroline shared in Growth Group that 2 friends were always asking her about Catholics and Church of England. Plus, spurred on by her willingness to speak about her faith, they kept asking about all the tough questions – creation, science, God etc.
As an attempt to share the load, we suggested having a night where we could all spend time together chatting about Jesus and answering their questions. After much discussion, we settled on having coffee, craft (to keep hands busy) and a short talk about Jesus by our group leader, who would then open up for questions.
Sarah is leaving London soon and wanted to make the most of her final weeks with friends and neighbours she has been sharing her life with. She wanted to keep pointing them to the amazing hope of Jesus. So she wanted to bring her friends along too!
Emma had school gate mums that she wanted to encourage to think about Jesus at Christmas. With lots of small children, she felt that it was hard to chat in-depth at the school gate but when would she chat further with them?
Jane felt that she had exhausted all the possible friendships and that no one wanted to talk about Jesus with her anymore and would not accept any more invitations to church events.
Kate is a weary mum. When you haven’t slept in 7 months, its really hard to finish….. sentences, conversations etc.
Caroline’s friends were keen to come and nominated a date they were free! Plus another friend didn’t want to miss out, so she asked to come too. Sarah had 3 friends who wanted to come, including one who wanted to bring others. Emma had a friend who was so keen, she was willing to join in on the night before starting her new job. Jane’s friends declined.
So that brought us to Problem Number 2: London houses!
We now had so many people wanting to come along that we had outgrown loungerooms and kitchen tables. No one had a big enough table for a large group of women. Plus craft. Plus dessert. Costa Coffee to the rescue! Not at all intimidating, plenty of room. They even offered a discount on all their food/drinks – and did all the washing up!
The Big Night: 3 pulled out, 1 missed her train, 1 husband had to work, 1 had sick kids. But Jane’s Muslim friend changed her mind and decided to come after all. So did the lady who cares for our kids during Bible study.
The café was cosy, the company was lovely, the talk was wonderful, the craft was enjoyed and Jesus was declared! All were invited to come to Christmas services, meet one on one to read the Bible or ask more questions.
It was very difficult for the MC to encourage the guests to leave at the end of the night!
We pray for each other as we seek to share Jesus with those around us. This just seemed like an easy next step. Share the load. Some of our group are brilliant at craft. Some are brilliant at inviting friends. Some are brilliant at answering tricky questions and explaining the uniqueness of Christ. Some of our group are timid. Some are exhausted. Doing it together – so much better!
PS – I invited the lovely Costa barista to Christmas services – turns out she already has a church family! How wonderful!
*names all changed for privacy